NBC Orders Groundbreaking 24/7 Live Competition 'The Million Second Quiz'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

April 24th, 2013


via press release:


Episodes Set to Air in Primetime This Fall as Contestants Nationwide Engage in Thrilling Mental Endurance Test for Huge Cash Prizes

12-Day Competition to Be Shown on NBCUniversal’s Digital Platforms

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — April 24, 2013 — NBC has ordered “The Million Second Quiz,” a state-of-the-art, electrifying new live competition where contestants test the limits of their knowledge, endurance and will to win as they battle each other in intense bouts of trivia for twelve consecutive days and nights.

The competition, where time equals money, will air in primetime, live from a gigantic hourglass shaped structure in the heart of Manhattan.  This hourglass will also serve as the living quarters of the reigning champions – the four players who have remained in the game the longest.  They will have the opportunity to play along with the game for up to two weeks as other contestants attempt to unseat them during the primetime show.

The show will be the first fully convergent television experience, where viewers will be able to play along at home in real time and sync to the live primetime broadcast.

“The Million Second Quiz” continues 24 hours a day.  Contestants from all across America will be able to engage in the game with an unprecedented level of interactivity and win the chance to appear on the show in primetime.

The NBC affiliates will have the opportunity to interact live throughout the day and during the primetime show to be part of the action and showcase local contestants from their area.

The primetime show will feature nail-biting game play and a David vs. Goliath challenge to one of the reigning champions.

When the million seconds draw to a close, the champions will battle it out and the ultimate winner could claim an unprecedented cash prize of up to $10 million.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

“'The Million Second Quiz' is a genre-redefining spectacle." said Telegdy. “It is a game, a social experiment, and a live interactive event all wrapped into a uniquely sticky entertainment experience. What is exceptional about 'The Million Second Quiz' is that it embraces technology’s ability to allow everyone in America to actively participate and compete in a way that has never been done.”

“The Million Second Quiz” is produced by All3 Media America, Studio Lambert and Universal Television.  Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and David Hurwitz serve as executive producers.

About NBC Entertainment:

NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network’s primetime, late-night, and daytime schedules. NBC’s quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, numerous awards, and ratings success. NBC has earned more Emmy Awards than any network in television history. NBC’s roster of popular scripted series includes the Emmy Award-winning comedy "The Office" as well as the critically acclaimed “Parks and Recreation” and “Community.” NBC’s drama slate is highlighted by the buzz-worthy new series "Revolution" and "Chicago Fire," veteran award-winning shows “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Parenthood,” and the recent additions “Grimm” and “Hannibal.” Unscripted series for NBC include the huge vocal competition hit “The Voice” as well as "The Biggest Loser," "The Celebrity Apprentice" and the perennial #1 most-watched summer series, "America's Got Talent."

  • Steve

    That is the first time I’ve heard the phrase “uniquely sticky”. Up until this point all entertainment was uniformly sticky.

  • Chris J

    So this is how NBC will convince people to watch their network this fall. I wonder if the affect on ratings will be noticeable or negligible.

    I’m sure there will be quite a few Nielsen individuals 18-49 enticed by the $10M prize. It looks like NBC will air updates and Trivia questions around regular programming, therefore, forcing people to watch shows they probably wouldn’t normally watch in order to stay updated on the game and have a chance to win the prize.

    A very smart PR move that I hope works for the sake of the network.

  • Esaul

    I keep telling NBC this. Greed. Greed. Greed. They’re doing well with The Voice Monday/Tuesday nights. That’s a start. This idea is just ridiculous. Reminds me of The Truman Show, only I wouldn’t be interested in watching that either.

  • Alex

    Well this is… interesting.

    From a scheduling perspective if nothing else its interesting although the format itself sounds somewhat interesting as well. Maybe not good interesting but still. Presumably this’ll be stripped over 2 weeks. I know they’re saying Fall but I wonder if it might actually be paired with The Sing-Off in January before the Winter Olympics.

  • James C.

    This sounds too forced.

  • Sandra Oh

    Sounds like another NBC reality loser to me.

  • Oliver

    Calling this now: this will bomb.

    It’s an overcomplicated mish-mash of ideas that appeals to no-one.

    If I can see it then why can’t NBC?

  • SJ

    So just how many hours of primetime is this going to eat up in the fall?

    NBC, you need to focus on your SCRIPTED department, otherwise you’ll never get out of the mess you’re in!

  • Christian

    I’m with Oliver: overcomplicated mish-mash. Remember The Singing Bee? Simple concept but they with overdone rules and production.

    Oh well, maybe the giant hourglass monstrosity would make people think this is one huge ad for Days of Our Lives!

  • Bev

    This is a great idea if they want to move all their dramas to USA and just keep their reality/light entertainment/chat/sports/comedy shows on Broadcast TV. This could be the first network to change its business model to suit changing audience trends after all!

    It could be daring in more ways than one, and “uniquely sticky entertainment” sounds just right.Hope it works for them so others follow.

  • Harma

    I don’t get it, it’s a quiz show where some of the contestants live together?

  • MichaelChickless

    A million seconds, but I bet nobody will want thirds.

  • Ravenrei

    At least this will only eat 12 days of time. If I’m lucky and they air it at the beginning of fall, that’ll mean NBC programming won’t interfere with the start of my other shows on the other networks. Of course, this could bite NBC in the butt if nobody tunes into the regular season programming because they’ve already been sucked in by other shows. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Fakeem

    Add this to the #EpicFail file.

    I’m guessing that this show’s ratings will make Ready For Love’s ratings look like the M*A*S*H finale.

  • Ultima

    So just how many hours of primetime is this going to eat up in the fall?

    NBC, you need to focus on your SCRIPTED department, otherwise you’ll never get out of the mess you’re in!

    Yes, focus on airing repeats of scripted shows! Original programming is so last decade.

  • Jazz

    12-Day Competition to Be Shown on NBCUniversal’s Digital Platforms

    Maybe I missed something but what channel or channels will this air on?
    I am concerned that there are going to be people who will attempt to stay up to watch the whole thing. Yes, I think there will be a few who don’t eat, sleep or engage in other activities of daily living.

  • Danak

    “Maybe I missed something but what channel or channels will this air on?”
    It sounds like it will air in primetime on NBC, then on NBCUniversal’s digital platforms (ie Internet) the rest of the time.

  • k:Alex

    30 Rock was based on truth, right?
    That explains everything…

  • Jazz

    Thank you. This might be like The Truman Show.

  • nick

    The format seems generally interesting and intriguing, but ultimately I think it will be too confusing and time-consuming for the general public to accept.

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